In one magical German village, something is happening that appears to be a complete opposite to the rest of the world. In a time when rent is skyrocketing around every town and city across the whole world, the village of Fuggerei has not raised rent for nearly 500 years.
In this little community in Southern Germany, they have been able to defy all the odds and keep their rent priced at around the same price it was in 1520. It is actually a small section of the village of Fuggerei, a gated neighborhood called Augsburg. It’s a picturesque place that you may imagine in a dream, walls covered in beautiful vines and magnificent courtyards. And the lovely community has been built on one agreement: that the inhabitants do not pay more than € 0,88 rent each year.
Yes, that was not a typo these lucky residents only pay $1 for a whole year of rent.
It all comes from a wealthy family who ran a wool business in the 16th century, they were very business focused and bought up a lot of land and buildings in the area. Quickly becoming the wealthiest family in the region called the Fuggers. Wanting to give back to society, as a large part of their wealth came from building great relationships in the region, the idea for Fuggerei was born. An entire town dedicated to helping the poor, a huge social housing complex, actually the world’s first social housing complex. They decided the rent would be one Rhenish guilder.
Applicants simply have to be Catholic, pray and respect a 10 PM curfew, both world wars destroyed the neighborhood, but the Fugger family did not give up. Both times they rebuilt and expanded their project all the time respected the initial rental agreement.
Today the curfew is a little more relaxed, though tenants do tip the guard if they arrive back too late the price has stayed exactly the same & disregarded any inflation costs. One Rhenish guilder is around $1 today, so we would guess these tenants have the lowest rent in the whole of Europe, maybe the world.